On past episodes of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews has likened America's two major political parties to household parents. In that, the Democrat party resembles overprotective mothers coddling and nurturing. While Republicans reflect disciplinary fathers offering protection, security and encouraging independence. This year, polls proved that when it comes to America's "family values," voters are looking for a father figure.
On November 13, 2014 Washington D.C.'s Brookings Institute and the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) co-hosted a panel discussion to uncover what exactly motivated religious and non-religious voters during the midterm elections and what we can learn looking ahead to the 2016 presidential election. Panelists included Joy Reid, Host of MSNBC's The Reid Report, Henry Olsen, Senior Fellow of the Ethics & Public Policy Center, and Melissa Deckman, Chair of Washington College's Political Science Department.
Before panelists weighed in on the election, Robert P. Jones, CEO of PRRI, presented his organizations' post-election 2014 American Values Survey of 1399 constituents questioned before and after the midterm polls closed. According to survey results, 61 percent of voters who admitted they are worried that either they or a family member will be the victim of terrorism cast their vote for Republican candidates. more >>
There's a new battleground in the war on Christmas – the suburbs of our nation's capital. The school board in Montgomery County, Maryland has decided to appease Muslims families by making the school calendar — religious neutral.
That's bad news for all you Jews and Gentiles out there. As of next year – all Christian and Jewish holidays will be removed from the calendar. That means no more Christmas, no more Easter and no more Yom Kippur.
There's no word on whether the board will remove the Irish from St. Patrick's Day or the love from St. Valentine's Day or the trees from Arbor Day. more >>
I remember seeing pictures of Fidel Castro for nearly 50 years. His image has changed from a black haired, Liam Neeson like figure dressed in combat fatigues to a wizened old man. Today's 88 year-old Castro does not look as dangerous or iron -willed as he did in the past, but very little about the essence of the man has changed.
Decades ago, Fidel Castro led the Cuban Revolution, deposing then president, Fulgencio Bastista in 1959 and replacing his government with a communist one. A year later, the United States imposed an embargo, banning commercial trade with Cuba, except for humanitarian items like medicine. Two years later, the Soviets began placing ballistic missiles in Cuba aimed at the United States; the ensuing crisis brought the two superpowers the closest they ever came to a nuclear showdown during the Cold War.
For decades, the Cuban American population—a powerful voting bloc in places like Florida—has stood uniformly against the Castro regime for understandable reasons. Many of them have seen or experienced Castro's atrocities firsthand: the firing squads, political imprisonments, forced labor camps, religious persecution, and so on. Most watched Castro seize their land and possessions, while some saw their family members murdered. Thus even after the Cold War ended, the embargo against Cuba remained firmly in place. more >>
After going over the results from last week, we had a number of bite-sized observations to offer — 14, to be exact:
1. The polls really were worse than usual
This cycle featured the largest average miss by the two major poll aggregators, RealClearPolitics and HuffPost Pollster, in recent competitive Senate races. This isn't a slight toward them — after all, they simply use the data that's available, and it seems the data may be getting worse. While the median miss has been somewhat up and down, the average has increased relatively consistently cycle-to-cycle. Why? Prior to this cycle, neither average had missed a race by double-digits, but this time at least one average missed the Arkansas, Kansas, and Virginia races by at least 10 points. Below you'll find the median and average miss per election cycle from 2006-2014 for both major poll averages. more >>
In a brief, nationally televised announcement on August 7th regarding the Islamic State, which invaded the multicultural, northern Nineveh Province of Iraq this summer, President Obama observed "these terrorists have been especially barbaric towards religious minorities, including Christian and Yazidis."
The brutal persecution of Iraq's non-Muslim religious groups is part of a human rights atrocity that is as grave as it is overlooked in American foreign policy. The president's eight-and-a-half-minute speech hardly scratched the surface. In fact, what the Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL, is undertaking in Iraq, as part of its effort to establish an Islamic caliphate, is a religious cleansing intended to eradicate the entire presence of the country's non-Muslim citizens. Nor is this campaign restricted to Iraq. Similar campaigns are under way in other countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. They are being carried out by a multitude of extremist groups and directed against a variety of minorities, although they are directed most commonly and with special zeal against Christian communities that in some cases have coexisted with Muslims for more than a thousand years. Militant groups such as the Islamic State are mostly to blame, but extremist influences have also gained official footing within some governments. In most places where religious oppression of Christians is taking place, Christians and other targeted religious communities find that their governments typically turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to their plight.
In Iraq and Syria, for example, the two-thousand-year-old Christian communities are facing an intense wave of religious persecution that has led to a panicked exodus of their members from the region. Even before this past summer's attack by the Islamic State on the Christian centers of Mosul, Qaraqosh, and all other Nineveh towns, leaders of the Iraqi church reported that one million, or between one-half and two-thirds of their community, have fled the country since 2003. more >>
Republican lawmakers are split on what to do about President Barack Obama's pending executive actions on immigration.
At issue is whether to risk the possibility of another government shutdown by adding a rider provision to must-pass budget legislation that would prevent Obama from using executive action to enact an immigration reform that would likely permit nearly 5 million illegal immigrants to live and work legally in the United States.
On Wednesday, Fox News obtained draft proposals from a federal agency outlining a 10-part immigration overhaul, in which the president plans to use an executive order to implement the reforms without the consent of Congress as early as next Friday. more >>